From 4th July 2011 onwards, it will no longer be acceptable to rely on interim certification for personnel handling F-gas refrigerants. Engineers who only have C&G2078 certificates on this date will NOT meet the minimum certification requirements under the F-gas Regulations.
It is important to note that both RAC Contractors and RAC end-users have a legal obligation to only use suitably qualified personnel.
Refrigeration Skillnet, using SERC as their training provider, has been responsible for training most of the RAC engineers in Ireland so far and has reported a steady demand for places on the C&G2079 courses since they were introduced in September 2009. They have trained and certified over 360 trainees so far. The big unknown is how many more engineers require training and certification before the deadline?
Companies that haven’t yet made arrangements to have all their engineers trained and certified to C&G2079 (or equivalent) are being advised to do so as soon as possible as there is likely to be a surge in demand and a consequent shortage of training places as the deadline approaches. Nobody wants to see their engineers refused access to a site on foot of not having the appropriate certification.
It is also worth noting that companies seeking FGas Company Certification will be restricted to interim certification if their engineers only have C&G2078. This interim certification will expire in July 2011 and the companies will then have to pay for full certification, assuming of course that their engineers have obtained C&G2079 certification in the meantime.
Meanwhile in the UK, ACRIB reports that registrations for the F Gas Qualifications C&G 2079 and Construction Skills J11 are increasing rapidly as the deadline looms.
“While approximately 8,000 people have achieved the new qualifications since their launch, it is estimated that at least 8,000 and possibly as many as 15,000 people need to become qualified in order to be operating within the law by July 2011.”